Rethinking Mao’s Role in the Campaign to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries

What are the origins of state terror? How do we disentangle the consolidation of Mao’s personalism and the consolidation of the general power of the CCP? How do we treat statistics? And as to the apparent differences between execution, imprisonment, and controls – do such distinctions (or the lack thereof at the time) actually have a larger and more lasting impact than we might imagine, … Continue reading Rethinking Mao’s Role in the Campaign to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries

Mao Zedong as a Father: Nianpu Notes from January 1951

In the six big volumes of Mao Zedong Nianpu (1949-1976) published in Beijing this past December 2013, a number of new texts can be located, and minor mysteries solved. I was fortunate to pick up copies of all six volumes on a recent trip to Shanghai. Chronologically organized, the writing in January 1951 is particularly interesting. Having decided in October to go to war in Korea, and … Continue reading Mao Zedong as a Father: Nianpu Notes from January 1951

33 Questions on The History of Modern Tibet

Here on Sinologistical Violoncellist, the subject of Tibet seems to be coming up with greater frequency, as it ought to.  After all, the Dalai Lama remains floating through the universe (and the halls of Congress, Richard Gere in tow) dropping rhetorical bombs on Beijing, and Zhongnanhai makes no bones about shutting off all avenues of dialog with the 14th reincarnation. And thus, apropos of well, … Continue reading 33 Questions on The History of Modern Tibet

Dalai Lama in Long Beach, California

In the orbit of the greater Los Angeles area, Long Beach serves a peculiar, often gritty, and vital function.  A few months ago I experienced enlightenment in Long Beach thanks to two gentlemen who had just gotten out of prison for “just stabbing somebody” and were on their way back from an appointment to remove the white supremacist tattoos which were all over their faces.  … Continue reading Dalai Lama in Long Beach, California

Contested Era, Blossoming Memory: Reconsidering the Early 1950s in the Present PRC

In walking around Chinese book markets, perusing Chinese newspapers, talking to Chinese scholars and intellectuals, and just plain thinking here in the PRC, the remarkable fact emerges of the enormous gap between what is printed and discussed here and how we talk about it back in the West. In other words, there are some thorny themes being worked out here in the PRC that seem … Continue reading Contested Era, Blossoming Memory: Reconsidering the Early 1950s in the Present PRC

Lin Biao’s Dissent on the Korean War

In a country and political system where history thrums deeply with contemporary political connotations, it may be interesting to note that, after an orgy of publishing since 1990 about the Korean War which left his role largely untouched, the CCP is now encouraging discussion of Lin Biao’s doubts about intervention in Korea in 1950. This extensive article in Huanqiu Shibao lays out the case and … Continue reading Lin Biao’s Dissent on the Korean War